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BIG Breaks Ground on Faroe Islands Education Centre

Situated on a hillside in the outskirts of Torshavn, the capital of the autonomous Denmark province of Faroe Islands, the new Marknagil Education Center will seek to “establish synergies” between three educational institutions under one roof. The BIG-designed, 19,200 square meter will provide for more than 1,200 students and 300 teachers by housing the Faroe Islands Gymnasium, Torshavns Technical College and Business College of Faroe Islands in a single building, making it the largest educational building in the country’s history. 

More images and the architect’s description after the break...

Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG

Integrating the dramatically sloped landscape, the project is designed as a vortex, radiating out toward the surrounding environment while at the same time focusing inward on the school’s inner landscape for learning. The three schools under one roof create the synergetic effect of a vertical campus where at the school’s heart an open rotunda space creates a natural gathering point across floor levels and academic interests. As a functional sculpture formed by the schools internal needs the abundant surroundings of the Torshavn landscape provide a unique opportunity to shape the school from the inside out.

Functions Diagram © BIG
Functions Diagram © BIG
Structure Diagram © BIG
Structure Diagram © BIG
  • Architects: BIG
  • Partner‐In‐Charge: Bjarke Ingels
  • Project Leader: Finn Nørkjær
  • Project Architect: Ole Elkjaer Larsen
  • Team: Johan Cool, Ji-Young Yoon, Alessio Valmori, Alexandre Carpentier, Armen Menendian, Baptiste Blot, Camille Crepin, Christian Alvarez, Claudio Moretti, Daniel Pihl, David Zahle, Edouard Boisse, Elisha Nathoo, Enea Michelesio, Eskild Nordbud, Ewelina Moszczynska, Finn Nørkjær, Frederik Lyng, Gaetan Brunet, Goda Luksaite, Jakob Lange, Jakob Teglgård Hansen, Jan Besikov, Jan Kudlicka, Johan Cool, Kari-Ann Petersen, Krista Meskanen, Laura Youf, Long Zuo, Martin Cajade, Mikkel Marcker Stubgaard, Niklas Rausch, Oana Simionescu, Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Richard Howis, Takumi Iwasawa, Tiago Sá, Tobias Hjortdal, Xiao Xuan Lu
  • Client: Mentamalaradid (Ministry of Culture) / Landsverk
  • Collaborators: Fuglark, Lemming & Eriksson, Samal Johannesen, Martin E. Leo SP/F, KJ Elrad Radgevandi Verkfroedingar
  • Area: 0.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Courtesy of BIG
Cite:Karissa Rosenfield. "BIG Breaks Ground on Faroe Islands Education Centre" 19 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>